WKU looking for 2nd win, welcomes undefeated UTSA
October 9 — Western Kentucky University will open its C-USA portion of the football program on Saturday at Houchens-Smith Stadium.
There’s nowhere WKU coach Tyson Helton would rather face UTSA at 6 p.m.
“There is a lot of parity in our conference,” Helton said Thursday in Bowling Green. “I’m just glad we’re playing at home. At least we have a chance in front of our home crowd.”
When WKU last played at Smith Stadium, they were playing in front of a record crowd of 25,171, to Indiana in a 33-31 loss that went straight to the point on September 25.
Helton wants the same kind of energy in the stands when visiting the University of Texas at San Antonio. WKU is 1-3 after falling 48-31 to No. 16 in Michigan State last Saturday.
It won’t be an easy task for the Hilltoppers. UTSA are 5-0 unbeaten with significant wins over Illinois (37-30) and Memphis (31-28).
UTSA has a very efficient racing game. Sincere McCormick is considered one of the best running backs in the league and has amassed over 100 yards in three of UTSA’s five games.
Bailey Zappe has been brilliant in four games as a WKU quarterback. The Victoria, Texas native completed 133 of 183 (72.7%) passes for 1,712 yards and 16 touchdowns, compared to just two interceptions. Zappe threw 144 straight no-choice passes, the third longest streak in WKU history behind Tyrell Pigrome’s 279 streak in 2020 and Mike White’s 161 streak in 2017.
Zappe’s 428-yard passing average leads all FBS quarterbacks, next being Brennan Armstrong of Virginia at 394.6 yards. The senior transfer graduate from Houston Baptist leads all college football with 11,716 career passing yards – averaging 285.8 yards in 41 career games.
“Offensively we have to score touchdowns,” Helton said. “Field goals are OK, but we need to have touchdowns.”